In a message to economic and political leaders meeting at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Pope Francis urges attention to ethical considerations that he says are often “little more than an afterthought” for them.
His message, just released by the Vatican, highlights world hunger and the plight of refugees. It also calls for a “new political and business mentality … capable of guiding all economic and financial activity within the horizon of an ethical approach which is truly humane.”
Here are some key passages:
Those who have demonstrated their aptitude for being innovative and for improving the lives of many people by their ingenuity and professional expertise can further contribute by putting their skills at the service of those who are still living in dire poverty. …
Such men and women are able to serve more effectively the common good and to make the goods of this world more accessible to all. Nevertheless, the growth of equality demands something more than economic growth, even though it presupposes it. It demands first of all “a transcendent vision of the person” (Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate, 11), because “without the perspective of eternal life, human progress in this world is denied breathing-space” (ibid.). It also calls for decisions, mechanisms and processes directed to a better distribution of wealth, the creation of sources of employment and an integral promotion of the poor which goes beyond a simple welfare mentality. …
The international business community can count on many men and women of great personal honesty and integrity, whose work is inspired and guided by high ideals of fairness, generosity and concern for the authentic development of the human family. I urge you to draw upon these great human and moral resources and to take up this challenge with determination and far-sightedness. Without ignoring, naturally, the specific scientific and professional requirements of every context, I ask you to ensure that humanity is served by wealth and not ruled by it.
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